Having a plan for your digital efforts is also a great way to measure what’s working and what isn’t. It’s a bite-sized plan for the year that’s easy to digest and easy to follow as opposed to a full, one-year marketing plan that can be a little overwhelming. And, times change. The political climate can quickly change, consumer behaviors change, and algorithms change. With a plan laid out and an adaptable mindset, you will be better prepared to pivot throughout the year.
Having a plan for social media is crucial. It can start with something fairly simple such as posting frequency, but then we take a hard look at content, giving careful consideration to what content performs best on each channel for that channel’s unique audience. What posts receive the highest engagement? Are video campaigns falling flat or is that what your audience engages with most? It’s great if you can say, “Hey, look, we have 150 new page likes this month!” But why do you have new likes? Was it the content you were posting? Did you use a budget to push a likes campaign? Or is it because of the time of day and frequency you are posting? These are just a few questions we like to ask when we evaluate whether or not our quarterly plan produced tangible results.
A plan also helps you avoid the ‘uh-oh’ moment of “I haven’t posted in three weeks – what do I post?!” Digital audiences are savvy and oftentimes notice when your content has been curated and well-thought out or not attended to at all; they know when a post has been rushed and doesn’t feel or look cohesive. Posting just for the sake of posting is not a good content strategy.
Google Ads can be intimidating but having a plan can help you narrow your focus to reach your target audience and use your budget efficiently. It’s important to have a strategy for keywords and to consistently monitor your ad performance, and to keep in mind that the cost of certain keywords can change week to week. When you’re planning the beginning of your campaign, keep in mind that it’s also important to plan how you’re going to measure your results at the end.
Measuring the success of your digital marketing efforts should always be the culmination of your plan. A good indicator of the effectiveness of your digital presence is your website performance, especially if you’re actively using social media or placing digital ads. When measuring your website performance, you want to look at key performance indicators like site speed, bounce rate, and how users are spending time on your site. You can take this a step further and track conversions. If you keep track of this, you can start to see patterns and trends over time, and these trends can help you understand what your audience is looking for and inform future marketing efforts – and planning!
Whether we’re working on digital marketing for ourselves or a client, it’s critical to begin with a digital marketing plan. It helps us perfect messaging for our key audiences, keep goals top of mind, and it allows us to measure what is and isn’t working so that we constantly evolve and improve.
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